Eduardo Novillo Astrada, President of the Argentine Polo Association (AAP), spoke to PoloLine via Instagram live on Friday, to give a look on the different issues that have become crucial due to the coronavirus pandemic, which is affecting the entire world and caused an extremely negative impact on all activities related to polo.
Among others, these are some of the issues Novillo Astrada spoke about:
“We are living an unprecedent situation worldwide, and we all must contribute and polo can be able to lead by example. There are not many people who know that several players, vets, grooms and all those who traveled to work long before this happened, through November 15-January 15, and now they want to come back and they can’t due to this situation. We are working with the authorities to let them come back to Argentina as soon as possible.”
“Despite the AAP is currently closed to public, we are still working a lot through call conference, we have our Board of Directors meetings and speeding up a series of online lessons, a practical learning method, which we want to develop as a trademark of Argentine polo. Diego Uranga and Martin Mackey, who developed training systems for the Unión Argentina de Rugby, are in charge of this. It’s one year now that Diego and Martín have been working on this, making videos and online lessons, in order to allow everybody to access from the AAP. The idea is to launch them next week.”
“In addition, we are working on a detailed study about the industry of polo in Argentina, with specific data on horses, clubs, fields, very professional, to give an idea of the size of this industry in Argentina.”
“When we decided to close the office, many didn’t understood it. But we went ahead with the idea, because we are in touch with many people around the world and we knew what could happen, we managed information that others didn’t have perhaps. That’s why we are working hard, we have meetings, with the idea to be ready and organised to bring help when this situation comes to an end.”
“With regards of the postponement of the Autumn season in Argentina, we are working on different scenarios and depending on what happens in England. We have a great relationship with the USPA and HPA. For both the United States and England is more complicated, because it is their important seasons.”
“There are many teams who sent their people to England in March. It is very complicated at this time, because they make their living through the incomes of the season. For example, it will be really hard for a club like Guards to cancel everything because they have invested a lot. And it’s very difficult to say what will happen, because this is a day-to-day situation. So, the idea is to be able to speak to all Associations, try to manage everything with some flexibility, specially in Europe. Not only because it’s where polo is played the most by this time of the year, but also because they are facing a very complicated situation due to the virus. But we are determined to do our best to help everybody to work”.
“The spring season in Argentina is still there as scheduled. We didn’t even think about it. We need to see how everything develops overseas, first. And if you ask me about how will Palermo be played, it won’t have a predetermined fixture as it used to be until now. The rules say we can decide who will play on field 1 or field 2 as well as days and times, just like it happens in tennis.”